Students anxious for more time as federal loan repayment freeze winds down


As the six-month freeze on federal student loan payments nears its end, students are calling for an extension of the measure they say offered relief from the financial pressures of the pandemic.

Bryn de Chastelain, chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, says his group wants Ottawa to extend the moratorium.

He says the job market is still reeling from COVID-19, creating stress among students and recent grads juggling loans, high tuition costs and other bills.

Ottawa suspended repayments for approximately one million borrowers in repayment from March 30 to Sept. 30, saying no interest would accrue on students loans during the same period.

The Undergraduates of Canadian Research Intensive Universities, a student union alliance, has proposed a two-year grace period for new graduates’ loans as they ease into a disrupted workforce.

In their submission for this year’s pre-budget consultations, the group argues an extended grace period would pay off by stimulating Canada’s economy and assisting students in taking on less debt.